Thought for the Day – 5 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Consolations of the
Suffering Souls in Purgatory
“The following is an excerpt from a book by a spiritual writer named, Father Alberione:
“There is suffering in Purgatory and there is suffering in Hell but there are essential difference between one and the other.
Hell is eternal, while Purgatory is temporal.
In Hell, there is no hope of salvation, whereas in Purgatory, there is the certainty of future happiness in Heaven.
Hell is the lasting state of a soul rejected by God, while Purgatory is the temporary state of a soul loved and awaited by God in Heaven.
In Hell, suffering is without hope and altogether unprofitable but in Purgatory, the purpose of suffering, is to become worthy of entering Heaven.
Hell is a place forever cursed by God, whereas Purgatory is a place which He has blessed.
Hell is governed by the stern and exacting justice of God, whereas Purgatory is under the dominion of the divine justice, which seeks to be merciful.
Hell is the abode of the damned.
Purgatory is the abode of the saved and this earth is the abode of those who are still uncertain of salvation.”
The writer goes onto examine the three main reasons why there is joy in Purgatory, even in the midst of the most dreadful torments.
The first reason is that the suffering souls are sure of eternal salvation.
They are confirmed in grace and it is impossible for them to sin any more.
No Saint on earth had this wonderful certitude, which makes the sufferings of Purgatory seem desirable to those confined there.
In the second place, these souls recognise their own imperfection and need of purification, therefore, they are glad to suffer in order to become worthy, at last, of the happiness of God’s company.
The third source of consolation, is their ardent love of God.
Love does not measure or feel sacrifices; it even desires them because it knows that they are a necessary means of achieving an intimate union with the beloved.
It is the greatness of their love for the Supreme Good, which makes it a joy for the suffering souls, to suffer for His sake and for the purpose of being united with Him.
If only we could love God as they love Him, we should avoid and abhor the least imperfection.
We should accept ,with perfect resignation, the sorrows and trials of this life, as a means of making reparation for our sins and, we should pray often for these suffering souls, so that they might at last, fulfil their intense desire to be united with their Infinite Good.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci